Brief on Saakshar Bharat
Saakshar Bharat, the revised version of National Literacy Mission, was formally launched by Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on 8th September, 2009, the International Literacy Day, but it came into implementation with effect from 1st October, 2009. The programme aims to further promote and strengthen Adult Education, specially of women, by extending educational options to those adults who having lost the opportunity of access to formal education and crossed the standard age for receiving such education, now feel a need for learning of any type, including, literacy, basic education (equivalency to formal education), vocational education (skill development), physical and emotional development, practical arts, applied science, sports, and recreation.
Programme Framework of Saakshar Bharat
The programme framework as provided in Saakshar Bharat document is as under:
The Mission has four broad objectives, namely, Impart functional literacy and numeracy to non-literate and non-numerate adults, Enable the neo-literate adults to continue their learning beyond basic literacy and acquire equivalency to formal educational system, Impart non and neo-literates relevant skill development programmes to improve their earning and living conditions, Promote a learning society by providing opportunities to neo-literate adults for continuing education.
Targets and Special Focus Areas:
The Government has set a National Goal of achieving by 2012, 80 percent literacy rate and reducing gender gap in literacy to 10 percent In addition, minimising regional, social and gender disparities with Special Focus on Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Minorities, disadvantaged groups, adolescents and low literacy States and tribal areas is the other national target. This target has to be achieved through formal schooling of 6-14 year old children and literacy programme of adults. In order to achieve 80% literacy, the principal target of the Mission is to impart functional literacy to 70 million adults in the age group of 15 years and beyond, to reduce gender disparity, 60 million of 70 million will be women. To reduce social disparities, within the overall target, 14 million will be Scheduled Castes (10 million women + 4 million men), 8 million Scheduled Tribes (6 million women + 2 million men) and 12 million minorities (10 million women + 2 million men). An auxiliary target of the Mission is to cover 1.5 million adults under basic education programme and equal number under vocational (skill development) programme. To minimise regional disparities, all districts that had adult female literacy rate of 50% or less as per 2001 Census are being covered under the programme. In addition, Left Wing Extremism Affected districts irrespective of their literacy rate are also eligible under the programme. As 84% of illiterate population lives in the rural areas, the programme is being implemented only in the rural areas of the eligible districts. Whereas, in the urban areas, the demand for residual literacy will be met by innovatively using new actors like Jan Shikshan Sansthans, State Resource Centers, NGOs, social groups and any other institution through Public Private Partnership (PPP) or any other mode.
Saakshar Bharat will cover all adults in the age group of 15 and beyond though its primary focus will be on women. Basic Literacy, Post literacy and Continuing Education programmes, form a continuum, rather than sequential segments. For the volunteer based mass campaign approach, provision has been made for alternative approaches to adult education. Adult Education Centres (AECs), are to be set up to coordinate and manage all programmes, within their territorial jurisdiction. State Government and Panchyati Raj institutions along with communities would be valued stakeholders. Vigorous monitoring and evaluation systems are to be installed. Last, but not the least, budgetary...
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